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Winning Start To Irish Tour


23:35 14th July 2014

Wolves come from behind against Shamrock Rovers.

Shamrock Rovers 1 (Millar 9)

Wolves 4 (Clarke 24, McAlinden 28, Dicko 69, Sako-pen 90)

After falling behind in the early stages, Wolves hit back to score four against Shamrock Rovers as they opened their short tour of Ireland with a win.

As he did at Cheltenham three days earlier, Kenny Jackett opted to play a different side in each half of the game.

Just the main stand of the Tallaght Stadium was open for the game which opened in a heavy downpour. After less than a minute’s play Shamrock’s Tom Morris suffered a facial injury following an aerial clash. After treatment he was carried off on a stretcher to be replaced by Conor Dunne.

A lofted through ball ultimately led to Rovers taking a ninth minute lead. Ciaran McDuff beat the offside trap as he chased the ball down and as he prepared to shoot he was tackled by Kortney Hause and then Ethan Ebanks-Landell at the expense of a corner.

Former Cardiff midfielder Stephen McPhail took the flag kick and when Aaron McCarey ‘lost’ the ball as he tried to claim it, Kirk Millar had the easiest of tasks in slipping it into the empty net.

Rajiv van La Parra almost pulled Wolves back onto level terms with an angled shot that was inches wide of the far post before home keeper Craig Hyland made a fine save from Leon Clarke who had taken a return pass from Leon McAlinden.

But Clarke wasn’t to be denied and he levelled matters in the 24th minute. Matt Doherty passed to McAlinden stationed on the edge of the area. He dummied allowing the ball to go through to Clarke who quickly gave it back to his fellow striker and then took a return pass before beating Hyland. It was an excellent piece of interplay.

Four minutes later a mistake by the keeper led to Wanderers taking the lead. He tried to control a backpass but lost possession to McAlinden who rolled the ball into an empty net.

Gary McCabe went close for the Dublin side when he drove narrowly wide and within a minute McAlinden was even closer at the other end with a header that hit the foot of the far post after Van La Parra had fired in a cross from the left.

Hyland made a good save to deny McAlinden a second goal as he ran onto Clarke’s through ball, and then McAlinden failed to get enough height on his attempt to chip the keeper after a great through ball from the impressive youngster, Declan Weeks.

Shortly before the break McCarey atoned for his earlier lapse with a stunning save as he kept out Kilduff’s header.

Half-Time: Rovers 1 Wolves 2

As expected, Wolves changed teams at the break and just a minute into the half Bakary Sako just failed to convert a deflected cross from Nouha Dicko with Hyland just managing to smother the ball before it crossed the line.

Kevin McDonald played a fine ball through to put Dave Edwards in the clear but the Welsh midfielder shot wide with only the keeper to beat.

Michael Jacobs was too high with his effort after he had cut into the box, and then Edwards, at full stretch, lifted the ball over from close range after Dicko had nodded down a Sam Ricketts centre.

Hyland palmed away a fierce McDonald drive and Ricketts fired over from the edge of the box as Wolves looked to improve their lead. 

And a third goal did arrive in the 69th minute as Dicko slid in on Edwards low cross and converted via the base of the far post. 

Sean O’Connor’s attempt to chip Carl Ikeme from 25-yards skimmed the top of the net but it was Wolves that rounded off the night in the final minute as Sako blasted home a penalty (pictured) after Jacobs had been barged over by Robert Bayly. 

Rovers: Hyland, Byrne (Kelly 64), Osam, Morris (Dunne 5), Vuille (Benson 88), Bayly, McPhail (capt) ( Hanney 85), McCabe (Waters 45), O’Connor, Millar (Sheppard 60), Kilduff (Wickstead 79). 

Unused subs: O’Malley, Keogh, Traynor, Lyons. 

Wolves (first-half): McCarey, Doherty (capt), Foley, Price, Ebanks-Landell, Hause, Henry (Bancessi 40), Weeks, McAlinden, Clarke, Van La Parra. 

Wolves (second-half): Ikeme, Ricketts (capt), Golbourne, Edwards, Stearman, Batth, Jacobs, Evans, Dicko, Sako, McDonald.

Unused sub: Flatt. 

Referee: D. Tomney. 

Attendance: 1,000 (estimated).

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